Today is a day to celebrate for my family. The husband came home for lunch with an ecstatic news about his career development, so I was all chuffed and thought he deserves some treat! He has been toiling away with the whole set up of his own business and the challenges that came with it. As a small reward, armed with the Baby, I thought I would make some savoury tart that he would like, instead of my usual decadent deserts that require a visit to the dentist, pronto!
A couple of days ago, I bought some goat's cheese from the grocery store as I have been yearning for some caramelised red onions and goats cheese tart. I remember many years ago, I had this version of a savoury tart in an old restaurant which serves really fabulous vegetarian courses. I am by no means a vegetarian, but due to the non-halal-ness of other options available, I opted for the tart as a first course, reluctantly, only to be pleasantly surprised later when I had the first taste of it. Somehow, I could not find a recipe on the net or anywhere else for that matter, which closely resemble the tart that I had, so I came up with my own version of the filling and the shell, just as I remember it from some well hidden memories.
The tart shell is slightly sweet with crunchy almond taste. This complements well to the tangy flavour of the cheese and tartness of the onions. The husband likes it, and claims 'has never eaten anything such as this before', and I am obviously well pleased with how it turned out, particularly the 'antique, worn out look of the shell', almost medieval and nostalgic, down the memory lane for me.
As for the caramelised red onions, I know you can get this in the shop but there is nothing like homemade. I would even recommend a big batch of this recipe for jars and jars of chutney as it goes well as a condiment to any savoury dish really. Obviously, if you were planning to make the caramelised red onion chutney, just multiple the recipe and store the cooked onion in sterilised jar, it will be well preserved for months.
That is how the onion will look like after the addition of soft brown sugar, just be careful to cook under medium heat as you don't want the onions to be burnt!
I made the dough ad-hoc, but managed to keep it in the fridge for couple of hours before baking them. For future, I think I would make the dough in advance and keep it in the freezer as my 'emergency resource' for last minute treat. They keep well in the freezer but will need to be thawed to room temperature before rolling them onto flattened disc.
Surprise your loved ones with this dish, and I am sure they will be delighted with the wholesome flavour of these mini tarts...
As for the recipe..
Caramelised Red Onions and Goats' Cheese Tart
makes 4 tartlets
2 tbsp almond-grind finely
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar
100 g plain flour
1 tbsp ice cold water
Cream the butter with almond and sugar until well combined. Add in the egg yolk , water and plain flour, and form a dough. Refrigerate the dough in a cling film wrap for at least 2 hours. To use dough for future filling, just freeze it at this point and thaw for couple of hours before baking the shell.
Once refrigerated or thawed, roll the dough with rolling pin in between 2 plastic sheet (as it is sticky) and fill in the tartlet pans. (I used 4 inch mini cake pan which gave me 2 bigger tarts instead for the 2 of us).
Refrigerate again for 30 minutes before blind baking it for 15 mins at 180C or until the crust becomes slightly golden in colour. Use baking beans as 'filler' to keep the bottom part flat.
Caramelised red onion filling
2 medium sized red onions-sliced finely
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 tbsp vinegar
pinch of salt
1 red chilli-chopped finely
A sprig of thyme
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat up the oil under slow heat and brown the onions and chilli until they are soft but not burnt. Add in the sugar, salt, vinegar and thyme. This whole process should take less than 10 minutes.
Assembling the tarts
Cooled the tart shells and fill them with the onions and crumbled goat's cheese.
Serve as first course appetizer or main course with some fresh salads.